Measles: know the risks, check your status, protect yourself

Updated March 2018

Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused more than 2 million deaths each year.

The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 89 780 people died from measles in 2016 – mostly children under the age of five.

This fact file on measles has been created for World Immunization Week (24-30 April) aims to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. This year the theme for the week is Protected Together, #VaccinesWork, encourages people at every level – from donors to the general public – to go further in their efforts to increase immunization coverage for the greater good.

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